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On a Hawaii food tour, clients with an appetite for learning get their fill — and then some.
During these culinary escapades, participants share a common interest not only for eating and cooking, but also for traveling, history, culture and fun, according to Matthew Gray, founder of Hawaii Food Tours.
“Food brings people together,” Gray said. “Guests leave with fantastic lifelong memories and a new sense of what aloha really means.”If a Hawaii food tour shows up on your client’s vacation menu, the following commissionable options can satisfy their hunger.
Aloha Plate Hawaii Food Tours, OahuHawaii-born Lanai Tabura won season four of the Food Network television series “The Great Food Truck Race,” and he’s a local boy at heart. His love of his home state shines through during cheery excursions with Aloha Plate Hawaii Food Tours.
“Whenever family or friends come to Hawaii, we take them around and show off our different foods,” Tabura said. “We execute our tours the same way, making each trip personal.”
Tabura’s routes vary depending on client curiosity, but they always demonstrate the essence of Hawaii. For instance, he’ll seek out food trucks so that participants can try authentic plate lunches, an island staple.
“We introduce clients to the local style of ‘grinding’ (eating),” Tabura said. “Our guests don’t just get full; they get an experience.”
Hawaii Food Tours, OahuHawaii Food Tours stands out, in part, by providing two guides per trip.“That doubles the amount of knowledge we can share,” said Gray, the company’s founder. He also offers 24/7 foodie tech support so clients can ask for advice anytime.
His Hole-in-the-Wall Tour hits Honolulu haunts, where visitors dip into Hawaii’s ethnic diversity through dishes such as Korean chicken, Chinese noodles and Portuguese doughnuts.
Or, clients can join the North Shore Food Tour, which comes with a pair of lunches showcasing tastes of rural Oahu, such as garlic shrimp and Hawaiian kalua pork. Additionally, the group swings by a chocolate and coffee plantation for slices of haupia (coconut) chocolate cream pie.
Hawaii Tasting Tours, Maui and OahuFor clients who prefer to restaurant hop, Hawaii Tasting Tours features progressive lunches and dinners.
“Our goal is to give guests a tie to the aina (land) and a newfound respect for the culture and history of Hawaii,” said Gigi Gaea, owner of Hawaii Tasting Tours. “We do this while enjoying tasting plates selected by restaurant partners, paired with alcoholic beverages and the best seat in the house.”
Maui tours go to Lahaina eateries such as Fleetwood’s on Front St. and Lahaina Fish Co. The Waikiki itinerary includes venues like RumFire at Sheraton Waikiki and Vintage 1901 at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Guides keep things upbeat by snapping photos and leading trivia contests.
Home Tours Hawaii, Hawaii IslandHome Tours Hawaii treats visitors to an insider look at what it’s like to live on Hawaii Island. During a movable brunch, guests stop at three private residences, where they can mingle with the owners.
“We have a repertoire of six to eight places in the Kona area,” said Lisa Christian, owner of Home Tours Hawaii. “We are always adding new homes, as we get many return clients.”
Menus might include lilikoi (passion fruit) juice or chicken macadamia-nut papaya salad. What’s consistent is a relaxed and intimate tone, removed from standard tourist fare.
“It’s a perfect way to experience life in the islands through its food, homes and residents,” Christian said.
Maui Craft ToursIndependent food- and beverage-makers take center stage on each of the four tours presented by Maui Craft Tours.
“We want clients to taste the flavors of paradise and learn from our community,” said Carrie Adelmann, co-founder of Maui Craft Tours.
Folks go behind the scenes to see how regional ingredients can be transformed into inspired edibles, cocktails, wine, beer and coffee. They can nibble on artisanal goat cheese and dig into a farm-to-table lunch.
“Our tours offer a new perspective on Maui beyond the beaches and waterfalls,” Adelmann said. “We hope to add a delicious depth of flavor to our guests’ Valley Isle vacations.”
Tasting KauaiWith itineraries on Kauai’s north, south and east shores, Tasting Kauai’s outings invite participants to nosh on products that have been grown or made on the Garden Island and to chat with area chefs and business owners.
“The interaction with our locals helps guests feel the true aloha of Kauai,” said Katherine Smithers, manager of Tasting Kauai.
Clients sample delectables from Kauai’s specialty stores, restaurants and food trucks. Along the way, they find out about the significance of sustainability on an island that must import much of its food. “We teach visitors where they can go to support our farmers and businesses,” Smithers said. “Hopefully, they will walk away with full bellies, but also with an appreciation for our tight-knit community.”